A round-up of openings, closings, and other news about West Hartford businesses.
By Ronni Newton
I thought that things were going to slow down a bit now that it’s officially summer, but based on the number of bullet points in this week’s column that doesn’t appear to have happened. I even have a few that for a variety of reasons are being held for next week – when due to the Fourth of July creating a long weekend for many people we will likely publish the column on Wednesday rather than Monday.
Summer does mean it’s time to stop and smell the roses, and on Sunday morning I did my annual “run to the roses” in Elizabeth Park accompanied by my good and patient running friend Laurie – who doesn’t much like bees and doesn’t get too closes to the roses but puts up with my annual quest.
No matter where I am in a training regimen, I am sure to make the 7-mile round trip run from my house to Elizabeth Park when the roses are in bloom. When I am in the park I turn off my GPS tracker, wander through the garden, and literally smell the roses. And of course take photos – many of which I have shared below. I wasn’t able to find time last weekend when it was officially Rose Weekend, but Sunday was beautiful (if a bit hot) and I think many of the roses are at peak now!
My other highlight of this weekend was playing “patient” to my daughter who has her final lab practical for the upper body as part of her Doctor of Physical Therapy program on Monday. She just started grad school a month ago, but is already finishing her first semester and has now memorized well over 100 muscles and all of the bones in the upper body. And she practiced finding them on me on Sunday afternoon, which meant discovering muscles I had not ever thought to move (hold your arm out and wiggle your fingers and see the “extensor digitorum” on your forearm twitch!) – and some of which are now quite tired as I type this. I was happy to hear that I have good rhomboids, though!
If you have tips about businesses opening or closing, or doing something worth sharing, please provide that information in the comments or email Ronni Newton at [email protected].
Here’s this week’s Buzz:
- KT Bakery opened on June 19 at 552 NewPark Ave. in the Elmwood/Home Design District area (right where Talcott Road runs into New Park Avenue). The building, a renovated former hair salon, looks beautiful, and there is a flower-filled porch where customers can sit under umbrellas and eat their treats. KT Bakery is open daily at 7:30 a.m. There doesn’t seem to be an online copy of the menu, but based on Facebook posts and information from a visit by a co-worker, the cakes look fabulous and intricate, and it appears they also serve sandwiches, smoothies, and other beverages. We-Ha.com’s Jill Fletcher said the green tea cake in the photo was delicious! For more information follow KT Bakery on Facebook or call 860-236-0389.
- The build-out is well underway for Icy Rolls, the Thai stir-fried ice cream shop that will be opening in the former Center Framing spot at 56 LaSalle Rd. According to owner He Cheng Chen (who also owns Ichiro Hibachi and Sushi on Farmington Avenue), a “rough inspection” will take place later this week and he hopes to open in another month or so.
- Hartford Baking Company is holding a Unicorn Bake Sale on Monday to Benefit OutCT. The event, which will take place at the New Park Avenue Bakery (625 New Park Ave.) on Monday, June 26 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., will be hosted by Carolyn Paine, founder and choreographer of CONNetic Dance, and Alex Zarlengo, dancer and model. Unicorn cupcakes and other rainbow baked goods will be for sale to to celebrate National Pride Month, and 20 percent of the day’s total sales will benefit OutCT. To take the celebration up a notch, DJ Darth Fader will be spinning tunes between 4 and 7 p.m.
- Did you know that valet parking at Blue Back Square is free with a valid receipt for at least $25 purchase at any of the shops or restaurants? LAZ Parking has just taken over the valet contract, and according to my son (who has worked for LAZ for the past several summers and has been stationed in front of the Cheesecake Factory and Bar Louie for quite a few hours over the past few weeks), not many people are aware of this perk. It’s a great option for those who [insert choice of word here] about parking in West Hartford, and even if you can’t produce a $25 receipt, the valet parking is just $5. Hours are 5-10 p.m. on Thursdays, 5-11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and noon-7 p.m. on Sundays. The smiling blue-eyed, sandy-haired young man who looks a cross between me and my husband will take very good care of your car!
- Startup Hartford will be holding its June Mixer at The Elbow Room on Wednesday, June 28, from 5-8 p.m. Guests who arrive between 5-6 p.m. will have light appetizers and the first drink courtesy of Keating Agency, in celebration of National Insurance Awareness Day. According to its website, Startup Hartford “aims to connect startup company founders; whether aspiring, rookie, seasoned or serial in the greater Hartford area. We desire to fill the socialization void for this niche-entrepreneur community. Our monthly mixers give founders a social environment, worthy of time away from their startups. While most of us are solopreneurs, we do not have to go through our startup journeys alone. Come and meet your startup peers and comrades over a drink in a private, upscale and casual environment.” Click here for more information or contact Angelina Capalbo at [email protected] or 860-461-9767.
- Congratulations to Whitney F. Burr of Valerie E. Thomas & Associates, LLC of West Hartford, who attended the ninth-annual Barron’s Top Independent Advisors Summit, hosted by Barron’s magazine to promote best practices in the industry and the value of advice to the investing public. According to a news release, “The invitation-only conference was held at the Ritz Carlton in Orlando, FL, on March 22-24, 2017. Many of the Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors in the U.S., as ranked and published in Barron’s August 22, 2016 issue, were in attendance. This annual ranking is the basis for the Top Independent Advisor’s Summit and the advisors are chosen based on the volume of assets overseen by the advisors and their teams and the quality of the advisors’ practices. The top 100 Independent Advisors are comprised of Registered Independent Advisors and Advisors from Independent Broker Dealers. A total of 350 elite advisors took part in this event. Whitney F. Burr was one of the 350 financial advisors who were either selected by Barron’s or their affiliated firm to participate in the event. This exclusive conference is designed to promote best practices and generate new ideas across the industry.”
- The West Hartford Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting on Thursday, June 15, to officially welcome the new fast casual restaurant, The Simple Greek, to West Hartford’s Corbin’s Corner Shopping Center. The grand opening was also a fundraiser for the Hospital for Special Care. On hand to help the owners cut the ribbon were West Hartford Chamber of Commerce Chairman Dave Calibey, Town Council member Judy Casperson, Hospital for Special Care President and CEO Lynn Ricci, Simple Greek partner Adam Bajko and his family, and Simple Greek staff.
- According to the Hartford Business Journal, West Hartford resident Anne Diamond, the current CEO of John Dempsey Hospital (UConn Health Center), has been named CEO of Day Kimball Healthcare in Putnam and will begin her new role at the end of August.
- Vamsi Koneru will open his new private practice, Koneru Psychotherapy, LLC, on July 3, at 45 South Main St., Suite 209 in West Hartford. According to a news release, Koneru will “offer individual and family psychotherapy, with a specialization in adolescent and adult mental health, using a framework based on the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical-behavior therapy (DBT). Both of these therapies are evidence-based and highly effective for issues ranging from stress management, relational issues, trauma, depression, and anxiety. Additional information regarding CBT and DBT can be found on the website www.konerupsychotherapy.com. For more information or to set up an appointment, call 305-321-5384.
- A long-vacant building at 1022 New Britain Ave. will soon be home to Cricket Wireless. The space was formerly a Spring store but has been vacant for quite some time according to Economic Development Specialist Kristen Gorski, who confirmed that the sign permit has been approved and building permits are pending.
- West Hartford native and entrepreneurial Bryant University student Cole Hills has launched a new company, Wear I’m Done. According to the description on the company’s Facebook page: “We are an apparel company looking to promote our new brand focused of laughter and fun.When we all are done, we have had enough. Now is the chance to speak it out through our wear.” For more information visit the website or email [email protected].
- For at least the past year I’ve been watching the former South Main Pizza spot at 135 South Main St. for signs of what was supposed to be a barbecue restaurant opening. I’m not sure what happened other than that the deal has fallen through and a new sign has just gone up indicating that the space is up for lease. As previously reported in Business Buzz, Revival Home Consignment is going to be vacating its two spaces in the same strip later this summer, as the store transitions to a new home next to Dalene Flooring at 588 New Park Ave. with that grand opening planned for July 24. Economic Development Specialist Kristen Gorski said that having three storefronts that can be combined may make the space more attractive to potential lessors.
- Saving the bad news for last, Mount Everest Spice at 1144 New Britain Ave. in Elmwood, the former Elmwood Grill and Bar which changed theme but not ownership just a year ago, closed for good last week. According to the individual who answered the phone, the lease was up and was not renewed.
Remember, if you have any business news to share, add it in the comments section below or email Ronni Newton at [email protected].
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